When I was a little girl, I once ate so many carrots that I turned orange. Perhaps a premonition of what my Ayurveda studies would reveal about my dosha, I’ve never lost my taste for carrots—and all root vegetables, really. That makes winter soups, especially grounding and creamy ones, among my favorite recipes.
They’re also pretty standard veg-friendly fare these days at restaurants, and I’ve noticed a strong preference for two classic soups: butternut squash and carrot ginger (my gateway/favorite is from Smitten Kitchen). There’s a beauty to the single-ingredient soup, but I personally find that butternut, on its own, can be a little too creamy, and carrot on its own a little too light.
Goldilocks syndrome is banished with this ultimate hybrid soup, which combines the flavors of these favorite winter ingredients with a few twists. Moderate amounts of intense spices are balanced out by the cooling coconut, and the whole thing gets a bit of a kick with a splash of ACV at the end. If this isn’t gingery enough for you, add a teaspoon or so of dry ginger, which is more pungent than the fresh variety. And yes, you read right that I use the whole squash, skin and seeds and all (okay, the little stem gets the boot). There’s no need to discard the innards and outards of your vegetables, especially when eating a whole-food diet.
Nothing complete soup like a slice of hearty bread, if only to clean out the bowl. Baking my own fresh sourdough semi-weekly has been nothing short of revolutionary for my health, physical and mental, and while I’m no pro I am happy to share my go-to recipes. King Arthur Flour has a plethora of resources for getting your starter started, and how to use fresh and mature starter; and Josh Weissman‘s videos offer both expertise and entertainment.
Butternut Carrot Ginger Soup
- 2.5 pounds butternut squash cubed, skin and seeds left (8 cups)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 cup shallot diced
- 1/3 cup fresh ginger chopped
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 pounds carrots chopped
- 2/3 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut plus more for garnish
- 4 cups water
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons white miso
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the chopped squash on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until soft when pierced with a knife.
- Warm the coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the mustard seeds, shallot, and ginger, and cook until the seeds begin to pop and are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and nutmeg, and cook on low for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the carrots, cashews, and coconut. Stir to combine with the spices. Add the water and cinnamon stick, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cook on medium-low heat for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots are soft when pierced with a knife.
- When the squash is done, add it to the pot with the carrots. Discard the cinnamon stick. Blitz with an immersion blender until creamy.
- Place a scoop of soup into a small bowl and stir with the miso. Return to the pot, add the apple cider vinegar, and stir to combine. Serve with additional coconut and flaky salt, as desired.